Lighten Up with These Teen Reads

Takoma Park Library

Lighten Up with These Teen Reads

There's a lot of great young adult (YA) literature out there, but anyone who reads YA novels knows that, for the most part, they're pretty heavy.  Most YA novels include at least one of the following elements: a teen's parent is dead, or not around, and she's depressed, or dying, or her brother is, or her best friend just died, and/or tried to commit suicide, and she's also starving herself and just witnessed a school shooting. 

This really struck me the other day when a teen asked me if I had any "funny" books on the shelf, and I had to think about it for a minute. 

So here is a (short) list of some lighter hearted YA novels you can check out this summer.  I can't promise there are no dying characters in them (there are), but like I said, these are light-er hearted than most.  At the very least, they're narrated in clever, sarcastic voices that may give you a chuckle or two.

My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter
Jory is determined to save enough money for a nose job, so she gets a summer job delivering wedding cakes - but she's klutzy!  Hilarity may or may not ensue with dropped wedding cake drama.

Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
When Jessie's friends start acting too cool for school, she decides to find a new clique to hang out with, and it just might be the video game playing nerds.  Nerds are funny, or at least fun to laugh at.

Vibes by Amy Ryan
Kristi can hear the thoughts of everybody at school, which makes it hard for her to ignore that the hot guy she likes thinks she's gross and the weird guy who's her only friend thinks she's hot.

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler
Two teens fall for each other at a summer Renaissance Faire.  If that isn't a great setting, I don't know what is. The opening line is: "My mother is a wench. It says so right on her W-2."

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.
Any book by John Green is going to have a witty narrator.  This guy has gone out with 19 girls named Katherine.  Obviously, he has a problem.

Two Parties, One Tux, and a very Short Film about the Grapes of Wrath by Steven Goldman
A dorky teen navigates his way around the high school social scene, the girl he likes, and his gay best friend.